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Michael Anthony - member or sideman

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by embellisher, Apr 6, 2002.

  1. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    OK, this thread isn't necessarily about Michael Anthony, the player, that's been done before. Of course, if you want to talk about him, that's cool too.:)

    But the reason I started this thread is to bring to light some disturbing news and rumours that I have seen at a few sites on the web regarding Michael's role in Van Halen.

    Specifically, it has been stated that Michael gets no royalties from the Van Halen catalog, and that before the contract was signed with the band's new manager(in 1997), Ray Danniels, that Michael did not even get a full share of tour money.

    According an interview I read, Sammy Hagar held out for Michael to get an equal share of tour money before he would sign the contract.

    Anyone else heard or read any of this? Man, if this is true, Michael probably needs every dime he is getting off of his Yamaha endorsement.

    Also, Michael is supposed to be involved in Sammy's latest supergroup effort, along with Neil Schon. I haven't heard who the drummer is, although Steve Smith is probably a good bet.
  2. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Inactive Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    "If" this is true I personally don't have a problem with it. The only poor music business decisions that bother me are my own;)

    That said, if Mike's deal was only as a sideman, Mike had to agree to that. I guess if Sammy wanted to use his leverage to help him that's his perogative, though I'm not sure why he'd be involved in what happens between VH and Mike.

    I have no issues with Mike's playing... maybe they did.
  3. the drummer for that project is Dean Castronovo (of Journey?).

    check out the Van Halen Newsdesk www.vhnd.net (lots of links to interesting interviews- including one with Gary Cherone- that sheds some light on the way Van Halen operates)
    and also Mike Anthony's own site- http://www.madanthonycafe.com/ for his comments on the side project.

    (I doubt that Anthony is short of cash, judging from his collection of rare basses, hotrods etc. ;) )
  4. Blackbird

    Blackbird Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    FWIW, The BP edition with Jeff Berlin on the cover mentions that Eddie Van Halen invited Jeff to become a member of VH and Jeff declined because he was into Jazz. I guess that means that MA's standing in the group is that of a hired hand.
  5. Interesting. This may be true, but it should be remembered that Michael Anthony has not written one note of music in the VH catalog. As Eddie has said in numerous interviews, he gets co-credit because he sings harmony. Doesn't make much sense, but the bottom line is Michael was getting lots of free publishing royalties.

    Given Eddie's apparent generosity, I find it hard to believe that, as far as touring and merchandising and whatnot, Michael was getting shut out.

    The Jeff Berlin thing is funny...I read again the other day Gene Simmons' claim that EVH asked to join Kiss as Ace was getting booted. Talk about odd pairings.

    Wasn't Dean Castronovo also with Bad English and the Babys? I'd take Kenny Aaronson myself, but maybe Sammy was afraid it'd be too much like Hagar, Schon, Aaronson and Shrieve.
  6. I was looking back at old TB threads and found this. It may have a lot to do with how easily VH dumped Mike and put Wolfgang up as bassist.
  7. blue4


    Feb 3, 2013
    St. Louis area
    It's funny that threads about MA skill as a bass player were already old in 2002.
  8. 10cc

    10cc Inactive

    Oct 28, 2013
    This why I could careless about Van Halen. Saw them two years ago with DLR and it sounded like turds and the tickets were overpriced. Yes MA's vocals were missed.
    Rocker949 likes this.
  9. BazzTard

    BazzTard Inactive

    I think Eddie should add all his family as band members and resurrect The Partridge Family TV series!
    Rocker949, Fabian_Aryo and joebar like this.
  10. louloomis


    Dec 28, 2004
    I think Michael Anthony is a talented musician and an integral part of Van Halen's sound, whether it be bass or vocals.

    If these contributions don't translate into monetary compensation in line with the scale of the contribution, then that is unfortunate but likely considering what I know about business law and music.

    If he did sign a less-than-optimal deal, yes he's an adult and is essentially responsible for this BUT, what if he was only offered one option: sign or leave the band?

    I don't know if that's actually what happened, but if it was what happened, wouldn't you sign? Especially if you had a pre-existing lifestyle to maintain financially (as all adults do) with no firm commitment outside the band of even moderately guaranteed future income?

  11. ggoat!!!

    ggoat!!! Inactive

    Apr 6, 2008

    Absolute respect for Michael Anthony. His work on "Light Up the Sky" and "Naturally Wired" is amazing, not to mention most of his live improvisation on tracks like "So This Is Love." His "cows" as I call them were highly influential to me (such as on "Get Up") where he does these massive "moo"-like slides; I loved those since I was a kid. He does a bunch of "cows" during the drunken version of "Runnin' with the Devil" at the US Festival. Absolutely love it. He's also one of the coolest most down-to-earth guys out there; him and Tom Araya of Slayer. Both absolute class acts.

    Van Halen without Micheal Anthony kinda sucks...even David Lee Roth isn't fond of him being gone.
  12. Ross McLochness

    Ross McLochness Living Room Bassist Extraordinaire Supporting Member

    Aug 20, 2013
    Eden Prairie, MN
    He's the Don Felder of Van Halen.
    Personally, I can't stand Eddie anymore. I used to think he was a "happy go lucky" guy, but boy was I wrong. He seems to get more bitter with each passing day. Michael was a HUGE part of their classic lineup sound. Heck, Ritchie Blackmore is a "team player" compared to Ed......ha ha ha
  13. Ouch.
    rickwebb and A.K. like this.
  14. A.K.


    Jan 9, 2010
    Pacific Northwest
    Eddie's public image hasn't been the same since the various dishonest and lying shenanigans the brothers pulled in 1996.

    You know--the year they fired Sammy and said he quit, while working secretly with DLR and telling him he was back in the band, only to screw him over after the MTV awards, when they finally revealed that they had been writing and recording a new album with Gary Cherone behind everyone's backs.

    Alex Van Halen is the biggest enabler in the world, and I say that as a big fan.
  15. At least with Blackmore you knew where you stood. You were a hired hand and you could be let go at the drop of a hat. You really don't here too many negative things about him from former employees though. Well, except for keyboard players. It was different with Anthony and VH. He was a band member that was fired for no reason other than some weird power play and greed. He was hired back but not after signing away his royalties and points on back catalogue if I'm not mistaken.
    A.K. likes this.
  16. Ross McLochness

    Ross McLochness Living Room Bassist Extraordinaire Supporting Member

    Aug 20, 2013
    Eden Prairie, MN
    Boy, I sure hope he didn't sign away royalties on their back catalog. I totally understand why Ed turned on DLR, but I'll never understand the MA thing.
  17. Winfred


    Oct 21, 2011
    I think everyone in a band with Eddie Van Halen is a sideman. Whether they know it or not.
    rickwebb likes this.
  18. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism

    Not that it matters now, but MA has not been a full-time member of VH since VH3, the album with Gary Cherone. Eddie fired him and hired him on as a hired gun, he was merely paid to appear to be a member of the band. Eddie also played bass on most of VH3 and I believe some subsequent work.

    I find it hilarious that somebody above mentions Eddies apparent generosity. Eddie is a total dick who merely comes off as modest in select interviews.
  19. The two aren't mutually exclusive. The man may be a complete dick in his private and business life but he has been very charitable to causes and people in need. At least from what I've seen.
  20. A.K.


    Jan 9, 2010
    Pacific Northwest
    He signed away all future rights and money from the back catalog in order to be allowed on the horrific 2004 tour.

    He had already been reduced from 25% of the band's earnings to about 10% around the time of "OU812" and the Monsters of Rock tour, according to Sammy's autobiography.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    May 12, 2021

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